Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Garden Planning - Step One

Actually, step one is the hours spent drooling over catalogs and making dream lists. This is the first step in going from wish to reality. The Garden Map. It is important to take a look at how much space you have to work with and what you want to produce. For us, our production garden has to provide for three different uses. First it has to provide food for us. Second it has to provide produce to sell at the farmers market. Third it has to provide products for our farm stand. The other thing you have to consider is can you do it all. I have plenty of space to put in everything on my dream list, but I could never keep up with it. Our production garden is 65' by 125 feet of production space. It is divided into 5 plots 65' by 25' separated by a grass alley way just wide enough for my mower. Four of these plots are further divided into 4' wide raised beds with mulched walk ways between them. One whole plot is devoted to Berries and Asparagus. Another whole plot is devoted to cut flowers for our use and to sell at the farm stand. That leaves three plots to produce our food and products for the stand and the farmers market. We don't grow our own corn or potatoes. We can buy them locally from farmers we trust and get a much better product for less work. For the farmers market we focus mostly on salad greens and fresh herbs. One plot is devoted to salad greens and it can produce enough for our market needs if we keep on a very tight rotation/succession. The other two plots produce everything else. (There are some things we only grow in the green house, which has it's own plan.) Our production garden looks like this on paper, without the greenhouse.

The next step will be the seed order, then the planting calender. After that the real work begins.
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